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Human cloning. Technology evolves faster than we do. The law shields us from our worst temptations. But the opportunity is there, dangling just out of reach - perfection and ascension or delusion and destruction. The choice is ours.

In this collection of clone-themed stories, 10 of today’s top speculative fiction writers explore our morality and built-in societal restraints and reflect upon our state of grace. 

Similar is not necessarily the same.

Clones: The Anthology features stories from Amazon best-selling authors Rysa Walker (the Chronos series), R.D. Brady (the Belial series), Susan Kaye Quinn (the Singularity Saga), Best American Science Fiction & Fantasy notable author Samuel Peralta (Faith), and USA Today best-selling and multi-award winner P.K. Tyler, plus five more of today’s top authors in speculative and science fiction.

Clones: The Anthology is the first book in Frontiers of Speculative Fiction series.

©2016 Holt Smith Ltd (P)2020 Holt Smith Ltd

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  • Quella
  • 04-06-20

Good fiction dealing with issue around cloning

“Clones: The Anthology” is just that, it is a collection of eleven short stories or vignettes covering topics involving clones, cloning, moral issues related to cloning, impact upon society, and overall topics involving inclusion. It is the first in what I hope will become many books in the “Frontiers of Speculative Fiction” series available on Audible; the second book is currently listed without any details. The stories are written by some of the top theoretical science fiction writers on the subject and they span multiple genres such as Sci-Fi, horror, and thriller. The audiobook edition is wonderfully narrated by a pair of narrators; Sean Patrick Hopkins and Patricia Santomasso. Both of these narrators are veterans with over one hundred titles each on audible. I have enjoyed and reviewed a few of their other audiobooks as well. If you like fiction stories that make you ponder what the future may hold with regard to cloning, this book, along with the future ones in the series, may be something you will want to pick up and give it a listen.

For me, I liked that there were variations in the length of the stories included in this anthology and that each of them fit well into the topic and title of the audiobook. With over seven and a half hours of audio, you will get a great taste of what issues we may soon face with regard to cloning technology. My favorite story in the collection would be “Fahrenheit 1451”and the two follow-ups would have to be “Confessions” and “Replacement Husband”. That is not to say that I did not like the others, I did, it is more that these impacted me more from a story perspective than the others. The shorter stories can be enjoyed if one has a brief block of time in their schedule, while the longer ones are great for a run or exercise session. I also liked that one of the stories (confessions) was broken onto three smaller stories over the entire book. It was really nice to follow this one to the audiobook’s conclusion.

I can say that the topic of cloning has the potential to be dry or more academic in nature, yet the author did a great job of selecting stories that cross the emotional spectrum and had more a feeling of “The Twilight Zone” or “Outer limits” with a few feeling like an episode from the “X-Files”. Often the stories had a surprise or twist that made you think twice and question if you really heard it or not. A few of the stories had sprinkled in facets of sci-horror as well. There is not much on the medical or technical aspect of clones or cloning, as the stories in this set are more focused upon the social and moral components. A few stories even included out of body or after death experiences.

The audiobook’s narration was professionally performed by a duo of narrators Sean Patrick Hopkins and Patricia Santomasso. I have previously reviewed a few books which were narrated by Sean Patrick Hopkins and I found his voice easy and pleasant to listen too. As well with Patricia Santomasso, this is the second book I have had the pleasure of listening and reviewing. Each one of the narrators did an exceptional job with their given material. I’m often not a fan of multiple narrators when I listen to audiobooks, but I can say that for this one it worked. One narrator did not read all the even stories and the other the odd ones, not at all. One narrator often read a few stories in succession but there did not seem to be a pattern, so it would leave one questioning which narrator was going to read the next. Each of the stories also seemed to fit the narrators well, whether that be the characters or the setting. There is no question that this experienced team would have clean audio which would be free of any audio artifacts such as page turns, swallows, or other distractions. They also both were able to bring the stories to life which tells me they knew and understood their subject matter. I would happily recommend either of them if you are searching for quality narrators in a future audiobook.

For parents and younger listeners, there are a few stories in this collection that contain vulgar language. Others have some more mature subject matter or darker themes that may not be appropriate for younger listeners. There are also a few stories that could be considered to have anti-religious overtones. However, if you are able to get past these issues, the stories themselves are quite well written and again the narration is great as well.

In summary, I enjoyed the many topics covered in this anthology of stories along with the many different perspectives on the theme of clones. I found that having a mix of story length made the audiobook easier to consume and having the stories broken up into chapters helped as well. Like me, I’m sure you will find your favorite in this set of stories. I found having two narrators worked well in this instance and I think that is because it is an anthology. Most of the stories will make you ponder the subject of clones or cloning, and I think that is a good thing as people will have to address these topics in the future; better now than when it is too late. I would recommend you give the audiobook a listen if you like these type of stories.

Disclaimer: This audiobook was provided at no charge by the author, narrator(s) and/or publisher in exchange for a non-bias review.